Carmine’s got a beef about our streets

Now that I have survived one of the worst winters in decades, my body is trying to survive the hazards that Mother Nature — and the city — has wrought on our streets, highways and sidewalks.

These days, when I use my car, my skeleton is jostled unmercifully and I’m lucky to get out with my head still attached to my body— and not smattered on the roof.

Look, you all know I can’t walk or stand, so I use Access-a-Ride to go anywhere that I can’t take my beloved scooter. But either way, the ride is not comfortable at all, and I don’t think my butt can take it anymore.

Now, I’m not saying that Access-a-Ride isn’t a godsend for the old, frail and sick who need an inexpensive way to get around. But I’ll tell you this — the ride is as bouncy as all get-out because those great vans have to drive on our city’s rotten streets and highways.

And even when I use my handicap scooter for local shopping — mind you, there are no shock absorbers on these battery-powered buggies — the stress attached to finding a flat terrain to ride on is overwhelming. And guess what? When I ride on the sidewalk, I find bigger dips and rises than the world-famous Cyclone roller coaster.

Back on the streets in my car, I have to avoid craters and holes so large that I expect to see Chinese take-out delivery guys popping up from out of them — direct from China! (For all you uninformed troublemakers, urban legend assures us that if you dig deep enough from Bensonhurst, you’ll eventually hit China. I’m pretty sure my delivery guy uses that route. But I digress).

Let’s get off my favorite subject: food — (shameless plug alert) especially good ol’ American-style Chinese food like they serve at 18th Avenue’s Silver Star Restaurant — and return to the horrors of Bensonhurst’s “paved” streets. Oh, wait! There’s no such thing!

Underneath the old West End Line, which the whippersnappers today call the “D” (as in “Don’t ask ME why?”), you’ll find the most dangerous streets — and, you guessed it, walking on the sidewalks is no bargain either. Hey, Mayor Bloomberg: Don’t you know they make asphalt down on Hamilton Avenue? Can you bring some of it over here, or are you only concerned about Manhattan?

As I write this, there is construction going on under the El that, if we’re lucky and we pray long and hard enough, should be finished by 2012. But I’ll tell you this: Don’t hold you breathe!

And why must all the adjacent streets have projects at the same time? I’m unable to drive around them, and the crew leave the streets in a condition reminiscent of London after the blitz. Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Check out 18th Avenue along 86th Street to Stillwell Avenue. But don’t take your car, for crying out loud. The best mode of transportation along that street is a mountain goat, or one of those mules from the Grand Canyon.

You know what, there is no head on the octopus that oversees all this mayhem. Is anyone monitoring our streets? Sure, the meter maids are doing a fantastic job issuing parking tickets. Maybe they could be told to watch out for dangerous holes, pits and broken sidewalks and report them.

More screeching on this next week!

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